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Outstanding Faculty Scholarship & Research Award

Our faculty awards recognize outstanding experienced and new faculty at the graduate and undergraduate levels who demonstrate teaching excellence, as well as leadership and scholarship in their discipline.

  • Provides scholarly contributions
  • Articulates a research philosophy and agenda
  • Demonstrates a commitment to research and contributing to the knowledge pool in their field
  • Applicant must demonstrate how their research supports their teaching
  • Completed nomination form
  • A copy of the nominee's current CV, to include scholarly publications
  • Evidence of:
    • PDF of the scholarly work (book chapter, paper, conference program, presentation), including the review criteria 
    • Documentation addressing the following three areas in regard to your scholarly contribution: your research philosophy and and agenda, how your current activities are significant to the field, how your research supports your teaching at APUS. You may choose to submit a narrative of no more than 250 words or a video of no longer than two minutes for each area. You may also choose to submit a combined submission of no more than 750 words or six minutes in length.
  • Statement of support from the nominee's Department Chair, Associate Dean, or Dean
  • Nominations may be made by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and those familiar with the nominee’s work
    • Nominees will be notified and asked to provide documentation on research philosophy, current activities, and how their research supports their teaching at APUS
  • Top candidates are presented to the Academic Awards Committee for review
  • The University Provost grants final approval
  • The award may, but will not necessarily, be awarded annually to one faculty member 
  • Open to part-time and full-time faculty members
  • Award recipients will be honored during Commencement weekend, and should we have an in-person celebration, one night accommodations and individual travel expenses to attend Commencement will be paid for by the University
  • Award recipients receive a crystal trophy 
  • Award recipients are not required to travel to Commencement to accept the award 

Outstanding Faculty Research and Scholarship Recipient - Dr. Jessica Sapp

Dr. Jessica Sapp

School of Health Sciences 

Dr. Jessica Sapp is this year's recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Scholarship & Research Award. Since joining APUS in March 2017, she has been awarded five research grants, all of which have included student interns, volunteers, or co-investigators. One research project established the APUS Online Public Health Community Service Program, which allows public health students to participate in digital volunteering. In 2019, she proposed implementing an Article as Thesis structure for the Public Health Capstone Thesis course, which has led to multiple student and faculty scholarly publications. Dr. Sapp received the 2018 Outstanding New Faculty Member of the Year Award. She contributed to the University's Open Education Resources (O.E.R.s) initiative, earning an O.E.R. Top Performer Award, and was recognized for her student engagement with the APUS Gold Standard Award. Dr. Sapp contributed to America's space program at the NASA Kennedy Space Center. As the K.S.C. Wellness Manager, one of her roles was as the Medical Triage Communicator for the space shuttle launch and landing team. Dr. Sapp's first shuttle mission was the STS-114 Discovery. This was the "Return to Flight" mission which was the first shuttle launch following the 2003 Columbia tragedy.

Dr. Sapp currently resides in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and is active in her community. She serves on the Health Care Advisory Board for Urban Surf 4 Kids and is a volunteer member of the U.C.F. Campus Emergency Response Team.


Outstanding Faculty Research and Scholarship Recipient - Dr. Melissa Schnyder

Dr. Melissa Schnyder

Honorable Mention - School of Security and Global Studies

Dr. Melissa Schnyder is Professor in the Doctoral Program in Global Security at American Public University. A former Fulbright Fellow to the European Union, her research focuses on European Union politics, transatlantic relations, human security policy issues (forced displacement, climate change, sustainability, food sovereignty), and norm creation and norm change driven by non-state actors in these policy areas. Dr. Schnyder has been awarded competitive grant funding for international research projects involving large-scale surveys of N.G.O.s in 28 countries and fieldwork in more than six countries. Her research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Contemporary European Research, Journal of European Integration, Comparative European Politics, Social Movement Studies, the Journal of Human Rights Practice, Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements, and includes books published by Roman and Littlefield International Press and Lexington Books. She started with APUS in 2012 as a part-time faculty member and started teaching International Relations courses full-time in 2014. In the doctoral program, she currently teaches courses on Global Governance, Quantitative Methods, and Statistics.


The submission deadline is now closed. Please stay tuned in Fall 2022 for additional information and contact the University Awards Committee if you have questions.